Are you using Twitter?
Some of you are, some are not, but you should. It all started for me last spring at the nErDCamp Bellingham when I decided to go to a session called "Twitter - It's not stalking when it's an author" or something like that. We learned about the invaluable resource of Twitter when it comes to contacting a real live author when you live in the farthest Northwest corner of the Continental United States, and close to nobody comes here except once a year in February (for the WWU Children's Literature Conference.)
Here are some of my cool experiences brought to me by Twitter so far:
1. I found out about a webcast by Jarrett Krosoczka @StudioJJK where my students asked him questions and he told us about his drawing process. Then we won a signed set of the drawings he made while we were watching him!
2. I found out that John Schu @MrSchuReads is a wealth of knowledge about children's books, #kidlit, and I feel cool every time I read a book that he recommended.
Exploring Children's Literature through Book Trailers
3. I starting following Donalyn Miller @donalynbooks also known as The Book Whisperer. Through her blog and posts, I found out about The Bookaday Challenge, #bookaday, and took on the challenge. This past summer I read a book a day, posting to #bookday for each book and tagging authors in my posts. I connected with so many authors who were willing to take a few seconds out of their day to interact with me. It was mind-blowing! (I am not quite sure why it was so mind-blowing, doesn't every author enjoy knowing that someone out there read his or her book and it then made an impact on that person? They are just real people, I keep telling myself.) As an aside, I was fortunate enough to meet Donalyn Miller this weekend at the #WLMA15 Conference, and she is just as wonderful and inspiring in person as she is in her books and blog.
4. I am collaborating with a librarian from a different part of the state on a new state-wide award. We have used Twitter so far to interact and throw out ideas. We have both piloted the idea in our districts. Hopefully, next year we will be introducing a new award for early chapter books for the state of Washington.
If you would like to try out Twitter, read this blog called "Embrace the Power of Twitter" on Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners. It will get you up to date on all the lingo and requirements to get started (which really isn't much at all!)